Back When

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"Back When"
TMG - Back When single.png
Single by Tim McGraw
from the album Live Like You Were Dying
Released August 30, 2004
Recorded 2004
Genre Country
Length 4:59 (album version)
4:27 (radio edit)
Label Curb
Tim McGraw singles chronology
"Live Like You Were Dying"
"Back When"
"Over and Over"

"Back When" is a song written by Stan Lynch, Stephony Smith and Jeff Stevens, and performed by American country music singer Tim McGraw. It was released in August 2004 as the second single from McGraw's album Live Like You Were Dying. The song reached the top of the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart in December 2004 and peaked at number 30 on the Billboard Hot 100.


"Back When" is an up-tempo song in which the narrator states how he misses the past and how the current slangs were not used for drug and sexual reference, but the objects themselves. Stephony Smith, one of the writers, told The Boot that she went into the kitchen to make breakfast one day when she saw a snake on the floor. The snake crawled into a tight space and then she called Jeff Stevens and Stan Lynch, who he was writing with: "[Smith] said, 'Back when a hoe was a hoe, my mama woulda just chopped his head off.'"[1]


Kevin John Coyne, reviewing the song for Country Universe, gave it a positive rating. He stated that "Back When" is the only up-tempo song on the album that matches his ballads in quality. He also added that McGraws "vocal performance is just over-twanged enough to suggest he’s making fun of the sentimentality that he’s celebrating." [2]

Chart positions[edit]

"Back When" debuted at number 58 on the U.S. Billboard Hot Country Songs chart for the week of September 4, 2004.

Chart (2004) Peak
US Hot Country Songs (Billboard)[3] 1
US Billboard Hot 100[4] 30

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (2005) Position
US Country Songs (Billboard)[5] 38


  1. ^ Staff, The Boot (3 December 2010). ""Back When" - Story Behind the Lyrics". The Boot. Retrieved 21 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Coyne, Kevin John (2004-10-20). "Tim McGraw - "Back When"". Country Universe. Retrieved 2010-06-17. 
  3. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Hot Country Songs for Tim McGraw.
  4. ^ "Tim McGraw – Chart history" Billboard Hot 100 for Tim McGraw.
  5. ^ "Best of 2005: Country Songs". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. 2005. Retrieved July 11, 2012. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
"Nothing On but the Radio"
by Gary Allan
Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks
number one single

December 18, 2004
Succeeded by
"Some Beach"
by Blake Shelton